Understanding the sociocultural drivers of urban bushmeat consumption for behavior change interventions in Pointe Noire, Republic of Congo
Chausson AM, Rowcliffe JM, Escouflaire L, Wieland M, Wright JH
Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Interventions targeting consumer behavior may help to reduce demand for bushmeat in urban areas. Understanding the drivers of urban bushmeat consumption is crucial to guide such interventions; however the cultural and socio-psychological factors driving consumer behavior remain understudied. Through qualitative interviews with urban bushmeat consumers in Pointe Noire, Republic of Congo, we investigated perceptions of bushmeat and other animal proteins, and social norms regulating urban demand for bushmeat. The perception of bushmeat as natural, tasty and healthy, and a rare luxury product functioning as a symbol of social status, underpins social norms to provide bushmeat. The main barriers to purchasing were cost and availability. Locally produced fish, meat, and poultry were positively perceived as organic and healthy, whereas frozen imported animal proteins were perceived negatively as transformed, of poor quality and taste, and unhealthy. Our findings provide an initial baseline understanding of social-psychological drivers shaping consumption that can inform the design of bushmeat demand reduction campaigns.